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Who is Colorano & Collins?

A short History of Colorano "silk" covers.

Colorano "silk" First Day Covers are among the finest fdc's being produced today. The covers are called "silk" because the cachet --pronounced "ka shay"-- is made by a printing process of placing the subject matter on a pre-gummed finely woven fiber square of cloth, much like the old silk screen printing method. Thus the term "silk".

(Others say the cachet feels like silk but that's another story.)

Colorano full color "silk" first day covers were produced starting with the American Wool issue of 1971 - Scott #1423 - and have been produced for every commemorative issue since. Air Mails started in 1972, Regular issues in 1973 with envelopes following in 1974.

Illustrated are #1; commemorative issue 1423 American Wool, #1; regular issue 1519a Crossed Flags, #1; Air Mail, C84, City of Refuge, and #2 envelope; Liberty Tree.

US1423 Colorano #1US1519a

airmail C84envelope U576

Only 1,200 to 2,400 Colorano covers were produced for most of 1971 - 1972 issues and even today most Colorano first day covers are produced in limited quantities of 5,000 - much less then other major first day cover manufacturers. Other special Event covers and series are also produced by Colorano.

A short History of Collins First Day Covers.

Collins #1 Quiltmaking

Everything started for Collins March 7, 1978, when he left to do his first fdc in Charlston, WV. Quiltmaking was the start of what was to be his lifelong profession of making handpainted cachets.

Along with the cachets being handpainted he had two other ideas for making his fdc's truely unique! He would try and make the first day cancellation play a roll in the cover and have all the covers use plate number stamps to add to the interest. When he had finished in West Virginia with the Quiltmaking fdc's he carried them on to NY where the Quilt which had been the model for the stamps was housed. He then had the covers cancelled in NY with a large circular postmark from Manhatten. This was the start of Collins.

As his covers got more popular and he was producing more, Collins had to do away with having the plate number on each fdc but continued making his handpainted little masterpieces and getting double cancelleations. One usually from the official city with the FDOI killer bar and the other a meaningfull hand cancel, some being great pictorials, from a city which meant something to the stamp.

Collins continually tries new configurations for his fdc's. He has covers that incorporate the stamp into the design of the cachet and has begun to use the envelope as a canvas with his "entire" cachets. Always unique and different with great hand painted cachets! Collins produced 280 fdc's for Quiltmaking and even now only produces covers with under 700 issues.

Below are 6 of my favorite Collins covers.

Collins 2c LocomotiveCollins Saint Francis of Assisi

Collins Babe RuthCollins $9.35 Priority Mail

Collins Migratory BirdsCollins Smokey the Bear

The information contained within this page has been written by Rexford R. Briggs using the Colorano and Collins catalogs as reference material. This material has been placed within my web site exclusively for informational background on the manufacturers of the covers sold by Knottywood Treasures.


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